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Evaluate SSCD systems with apple and cherry horticultural practices including 1) canopy applications of foliar nutrients and plant growth regulators, 2) soil applied nutrients and herbicides, and 3) climate modification for frost protection, sunburn, fruit cracking, and fruit doubling.

Year 1 Experiments:
Initially, the SSCD system will be evaluated in small replicated plots at university research farms.  The engineering team will design a basic SSCD system for use by the horticultural and pest management teams based on “proof of concept” systems until an optimized SSCD system is created.

We will compare SSCD system, typical airblast spray and untreated control by examining:

1. Crop Load Management on Apples

  • Use a proven chemical thinning program of bloom and post-bloom thinners
  • Look for differences in initial bloom counts, fruit set, cluster composition, whole tree yields, standard fruit quality parameters, return bloom (2013)

2. Evaporative Cooling for Sunburn of Apples

  • Compare amount of sunburn and fruit quality at harvest when using SSCD system, standard overhead cooling or nothing.

3. Use of Gibberellic acid (GA3) in Cherries

  • Applications of GA will be made at straw color on Bing and Selah cherries.
  • Look for differences in fruit size/color on application date, fruit density, fruit quality

Team Members:
Michigan: James Flore, Greg Lang
Matthew Whiting, Ines Hanrahan, Tory Schmidt


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